I’ve been busy and therefore not blogging. So I’ve dug out this miniscule bullet item, a review of
Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography, a Hill and Wang book written by Andy Helfer and drawn by Joe Staton. For readers in a hurry, here’s the gist: It’s not bad!

And now:

If you have to fit the life and career of Ronald Reagan into 102 pages, this isn’t a bad way of doing it. Andy Helfer drew on five biographies, Reagan’s two autobiographies and a collection of the late president’s letters to produce a picture of the old man that, to this liberal, appears polite but not deferential. Steve Buccellato demonstrates that he can’t draw Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon or John F. Kennedy, but his Ron and Nancy do the job and Buccellato definitely has a knack for page layouts that are packed with content while not being crowded.

The book skimps on the contras (as opposed to the Iran-contra scandal), leaves out Reagan’s unfortunate activities in the area of civil rights and the environment, and gives a fairly spotty explanation of the impact of the waiver Reagan granted MCA while he was president of the Screen Actors Guild. More about how Walter Mondale sucker punched the president in the first 1984 debate would have been nice too, if only to make old progressives happy. I also spotted a historical error, namely the assertion that Democrats regained the House in 1982; they already had the House but added 20 or so seats to their majority that year. These faults vary in size, but none could exactly be called huge. All in all, Ronald Reagan provides welcome evidence of the job nonfiction comics can do in tackling political history.

Update (by Noah): Bizarrely, I’ve got a capsule review of this as well: it’s here for those who want to compare and contrast….

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